The President decorated Olga Chauzova, mother of 13 children, Nadezhda and Ivan Pinchuk, who are raising 13 children, Irina and Sergei Levin, who have 9 children, Olga and Ivan Sukhov, parents to 7 children, Iraya Gilmutdinova and Konstantin Goloshchapov, who have 6 children, Maria and Andrei Gamm, parents to 7 children, Inessa and Evgeny Fisenko, who are raising 12 children, and Irina and Vladimir Makhov, who have 10 children.
Following the ceremony, Mr Medvedev talked with the parents in an informal setting. Finally, child musicians performed a small concert to congratulate the decorated parents.
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Speech at a ceremony presenting the Order of Parental Glory to parents of large families
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon,
I want to say first of all that I have a special feeling towards the Order of Parental Glory. Of all our country’s state decorations it is perhaps the one infused with the most goodness and humanity. This is the fourth time the decoration is being presented here at the Kremlin. We are presenting it today to the parents of large families. We have established what we think is now a very good tradition of meeting here at the Kremlin all together, parents and children, and having the whole family present for the ceremony.
”Our country has no future unless it has children, and strong families. The state authorities’ duty is do what we can to encourage the number of families such as yours to grow with every passing year.“
I want to congratulate you all on these state decorations, and congratulate your children and your entire families too, of course.
I will not take up much time saying just how great a priority support for motherhood and childhood is for our country. You understand this better than anyone. Our country has no future unless it has children, and strong families. The state authorities’ duty is do what we can to encourage the number of families such as yours to grow with every passing year. All the families here today are each unique in their own way of course, but if others follow your example this would be very useful for us all.
As you know, our demographic situation is not very good, unfortunately, although some of the state programmes we have been carrying out, such as the maternity capital and other social undertakings, have helped to increase the number of families with two or more children. I will name one figure because it really is a good result.
The number of births has increased by almost a quarter over the last five years, and this is a good development. This news is all the better in that almost half of these births are second or subsequent children. This is tremendously important for Russia today, so that our country can develop and get its demographic situation back to normal. We will definitely continue these programmes.
You all know very well that it is not enough just to give birth to children; they also need education, need to grow up happy and healthy and have the chance to learn. This is parents’ mission, and it is a sometimes very difficult mission indeed, because raising children is hard enough as it is, all the more so when there are many of them. It is a job that requires a lot of moral and physical effort, not to mention the material difficulties involved too.
The state authorities’ job is to help in this task by creating the right conditions. What conditions am I talking about? You know yourselves that this is above all decent healthcare, decent food, not just at home, but also in schools and kindergartens, and opportunities for children to enjoy proper holidays, preferably together with their parents.
”We all have a lot of work to do to make our world a safer place for our children, a more caring and attentive place.“
I note that today’s ceremony takes place as we mark International Children’s Day. Unfortunately, the world is such that children face many threats in modern life. We all have a lot of work to do to make our world a safer place for our children, a more caring and attentive place, where they are protected not just by the law, but by a normal environment in the country and general support for families and children.
Present here today are families from the different federal districts. Some of you have up to 13 children. This deserves tremendous respect of course. The older children help to look after the younger ones, but most important, you are passing on the desire to found and build modern and happy families, and this really is the very foundation of our life.
Friends, I wish you all health and happiness. I hope that all of the children here today – though some of them are already quite grown up – are successful in life, achieve their dreams, and get the education or work that they desire. This would be the best gift for their parents. Let’s begin presenting the decorations now.
Dmitry Medvedev: Friends, parents, children,
The state decorations have been presented now. I want to say once again that this is a ceremony full of warmth, but a very official ceremony at the same time, for we are here today in one of the Kremlin’s finest halls, where state receptions take place and state decorations are presented. Of course, it is a great pleasure that it is you who have received these decorations today.
”Officials at every level need to make efforts to support big families and support families, motherhood and childhood in general.“
As we heard from some of you just now, life can be a complex thing, not always easy. It is true that big families often do not receive the attention they need, and it can be hard to resolve the problems that face any family, all the more so large families. I think that the very fact that this ceremony is taking place should help to draw more attention to you.
Whose attention exactly? First of all, that of the authorities at all levels, because help in building strong families is the responsibility not of any one single person, not the president or any other high official, but of the authorities in their entirety, at every level and in every region and district of our country. Officials at every level need to make efforts to support big families and support families, motherhood and childhood in general.
That today’s ceremony is taking place on a special day – International Children’s Day – is another chance to draw the attention of all officials to the problems facing children and families, and I hope they will respond accordingly.
Perhaps no less important, as I said, this ceremony is also the chance for those who only plan to found their families to see the wonderful example you set. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some are bigger and some are smaller. But the goal of any family is to have children, and the more children there are, the better it is for Russia, and for the families themselves. I hope that your example will inspire millions of other Russian families.
Thank you for everything you have done for our country.